The physicists tell us that we are all watching our own movie and there´s no reality in the things we see:
Our brain is putting the world together for us, creating a map of myriads of codes and signals as we hallucinate all the time, thinking that we are experiencing reality:
It looks like we each own a big cinema, always choosing and watching the films we like!
But what does this mean for the world we live in and believe to be so real? What about all the spaces we inhabit, private and public, what about society? And how much truth is in all the things we deal with every day, our likes and dislikes? Images seem to have completely soaked into society, we are exposed to a huge flood of visual impressions and it is the artist´s job to hold a question mark over it all.
To find my way and uncover some of the hidden poetry in this ever rolling avalanche of images, I watch and observe:
how does it all work, how is it that I am – we all are – so attracted to `things´? Is this piece real? – or: maybe just a distant reflection of something? – Or: would I call it a sculpture – or: what makes an installation?
So I bend, twist, wrap all these well known objects or set them in motion, I mirror, illuminate or invert entire spaces in search of the thin lines between the self and the world, the cornerstones of mind. The objects or spaces I create change their appearance in many ways: lighting, movement, colour, shapes or textures challenge viewing habits.
A tomato is not a tomato, a sculpture is not a sculpture unless the viewer actually makes it, by naming it and giving it the necessary qualities to complete the task of creation. My work is only one part of the whole process, I provide a context and give hints that can be followed to create the piece in the viewer´s mind. The result is not permanent, it all depends on the state of the viewer´s mind and on the images stored in it. This is an aspect that has led me to use light and video in my installations, common materials like plastic sheet or those gadgets everyone can buy in a DIY store: very unspectacular materials, common consumer goods or electronic devices that have entirely penetrated life today.
Embedded into a social context, a sculpture or installation needs to ask questions about the place it is occupying, its surrounding community, its history, about society. The relevance of public art depends on whether it is capable of creating a relationship between the people and their local environment, whether it can question their memories, their perception, challenge their behaviours or viewing habits. Only art can ask a question and come up with an answer at the same time, no matter how far fetched it might look. It is this speed, like a wink of the eye – almost simultaneousness – that catches people´s attention and provokes thoughts. Images loose their value very quickly, as everything does in a society that is constantly looking for the extreme. I think for the best answer art can be just as ephemeral and use all the short lived and common stuff: it should play all those keys and speak the language of society – so it can keep up with it.
I studied sculpture and art history at the Academy of Visual Arts in Munich, Germany. Based in my studios in Munich and Brighton I have since worked as a freelance artist on public art projects, large scale sculptures and installations, exhibitions, performances. Artist residencies include Village Nomade, La Corbiere Switzerland 2006 and Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge 2008. Giving art workshops for schools, social organisations, communities and companies is my ever inspiring side line. Head to Instagram oliverhein_artist and roadside_sculptures or imarvel_design to see my posts with ideas, impressions, more videos and photos about my projects.
A selection of Projects:
Currently I am working on my installation project ‘Join the Bots’ . It is a work in progress experiment where I will create a giant drawing machine over a period if two months in the Window Gallery at Phoenix Art Space, Brighton.
The weekend 1 and 2 May 2021 I will be showing my light instllation ‘Painting the Infinite’ for the light festival ‘Die blaue Nacht’ in Nürnberg, Germany. People will be invited to bring their own torches and laser pointers and ‘paint’ on a projection canvas, creating explosions of almost psychedelic colours and shapes
2019 I completed my public art commission ”Lichtwürfel”, a light installation for a new Kindergarten in Munich. In a series of workshops I will give this year for the kids we will produce line drawings to insert into the light cube and watch them switching and blending, depending from where you look.
2017 `Present Tense´ an exhibition curated by Lucy Day, Phoenix Brighton
2015 `Twice Empty , a light and video installation for the e-luminate Festival, Cambridge
2014 ”Hidden Lines” , a public video and light installation for the Brighton Digital Festival
2009 ”Gems”, a video sclupture for the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway
2004 “Sunwash” , a kinetic solar sculpture, Burghausen, Germany
2002 ”Blue Cube”, a public light installation for the Central Bus Station, Rosenheim, Germany